Russian Tu-22M3 long-range bombers were escorted by US fighter jets while carrying out flights over the Baltic and Norwegian Seas Wednesday.
The Russian defense ministry said in a statement Thursday that "a pair of aircraft of Russian bombers were escorted by fighter jets F-16 of the Belgian Air Force, F-18 of the Finnish Air Force, F-15 of the US Air Force and JAS-39 of the Swedish Air Force during 70 minutes", during routine flights over neutral waters of the Baltic and Norwegian seas.
"While performing a flight over the neutral waters of the Norwegian Sea, another pair of Tu-22M3 was escorted by F-16 fighter jets of the US Air Force during 27 minutes at some stages of the route," the statement said.
The Russian military stressed its strategic planes have been carrying out routine missions in the Arctic, Atlantic, the Black Sea and the Pacific in line with an agreed schedule. All flights are in line with the international rules and do not violate the airspace of sovereign nations.